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Ruptured Case WARNING


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#1 mpguy80/08

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:06 PM

Hi Gang...

First of all let me tell you that I am okay. Thank god.

I was out with my reenacting unit today getting a little live fire in. One of our guys recently aquired an Underwood Carbine and a Remington M1903A3. Both weapons were cleaned, and inspected and found to be with no faults, lubricated, and reassembled. Five others fired the M1903A3 before I did, and had no problems. I was handed five rounds, which I had fed into the internal magazine and I closed the bolt. When I pulled the trigger, I thought I'd lost my face. The round in the chamber ruptured, flashing back and destroying the extractor, and the metal clip around the bolt. The shrapnel and gasses and unburned powder vented back almost directly into my face. Most of the force of the blast vented our at the extractor, however some vented straight back along the bolt channel and into my face and hand where I held the stock.

I stood there dazed for a moment, with the others asking if I was okay... I can hear myself on the video saying yes, but the next thing I felt was blood running down my face. I put a hand up and came away with blood. I went to my vehicle and got my first aid kit and worked at tending and assessing my wounds. I was lucky, I only had one small puncture, which caused all the bleeding. I dont know what hit me, but it punctured the skin but did not penetrate all the way through. Nothing got under the skin. The small puncture was about one inch under my right eye.

The others came over and were trying to remove the bolt from the weapon in order to unload the remaining rounds. After about twenty minutes they finally got the bolt open and the ruptured casing out of the chamber. The case ruptured right above the extractor groove, blowing out a small portion of the brass, which did not separate from the casing, but allowed the gasses to vent back. The excractor was bent, and looked like it may have been chipped. there is a kind of clip around the bolt... and this was pretty well mangled.

The Casing was marked with an K at the top, and 54 at the bottom. The rounds had been sold new, I think, but may have been reloads, I'm not sure, they werent my rounds, but they came in a red colored box with a name that started with a P, and the rounds were held in 2 red 10 round plastic racks inside the box. All the rounds that had been fired before me came from this same lot.

A couple of things I've learned today.

1. No matter how many people have fired a weapon before you safely, it CAN malfunction when you pull the trigger.

2. No amount of prep... disassembly, cleaning and lubrication can stop a weapon malfunction.

3. Seemingly brand new ammunition can, and will from time to time malfunction.

4. Not all ammunition packages as new ammo, is indeed new ammo. They very well may be reloads.

5. As safe as ammunition makers try to make their ammunition, there is always that one casing that slips through.

6. Most importantly, wear safety glasses. I wasnt, and I'll tell you, that lesson is not lost on me. I could very well have lost an eye today. As it is, I have a face full of minor flash burns. It might have been alot worse.

Hope this helps everyone to be extra careful, especially when you are firing ammunition you have no idea where it came from. I'll never shoot ammo someone else provides again. My face and nose are still tender from the incident.

Wayne

#2 Plant#4

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:15 PM

I am glad this was a "cheap" lesson..... :pinch: Dvae

#3 mpguy80/08

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:23 PM

I am glad this was a "cheap" lesson..... :pinch: Dvae


I felt sick afterwards that his newly aquired rifle was now just so much junk. The mishap jacked up the bolt and extractor pretty bad. He may replace the bolt, but I dont think he will be firing it again any time soon... if at all. He was worried about if I was all right, and I was worried that his rifle had been messed up pretty bad. It was a pretty sobering end to one heck of a fun day.

Wayne

#4 doyler

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:33 PM

Wayne

Glad you are ok.The rifle can be replaced...but you,thats another matter :salute:

RD

#5 The Meatcan

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:39 PM

holy crap Wayne! dang glad to hear you are (mostly) ok! And thanks for posting that so important reminder to wear safety glasses!
Terry

#6 Misanthropic_Gods

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:57 PM

I wear my set of ESS ICE 2.4's EVERY time I go shooting, I think wearing ear and eye pro is mandatory if anyone is shooting with me.

Im glad to hear you are okay man, that was a close one. Isnt it amazing how if everything works fine in a rifle, it can take thousands of rounds of ammo without a problem, but the second even the slightist thing is off, it goes BOOM in your face.

Edited by Misanthropic_Gods, 19 September 2009 - 09:57 PM.


#7 Blake_E

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:02 PM

Dang, glad you're ok buddy!

#8 gunbarrel

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:54 AM

You are a very lucky man! Glad to hear you are O.K. You could have woke up a blind man this morning :( I'm going to put a link to this post under the "Reenactors" section so they can learn from your accident--particularly about wearing safety glasses.

#9 101CH47

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:18 AM

Any one check to see if there was an obstruction in the barrel? Someone might have stuck the barrel in the dirt prior to you being handed the rifle. I have been to live fire events with reenactors and surprisingly a good number are not all that familiar with firearms and live ammunition. My unit hosts a unit only live fire at Knob Creek with every thing from pistols to belt feds.

One other point, most shooters have no problem shooting reloads of their own make but few care to shoot reloads from someone else. I am the same way, I have no problem firing my own reloads because I know what level of attention went into reloading them but how someone else does it is a mystery I do not care to experiment with.

#10 Jim Baker

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:43 AM

Wayne,

Glad you are alright. I went through a similar situation (without injury), but it scared the hell out of me. Dazed is a good word.

#11 mrhell

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:15 AM

Glad you're still with us Wayne and your injuries were minor.

There have been at least two incidents recently where M1 Garands blew apart, (literally BTW), both due to bad RELOADED ammunition. In the one case the ammo came from a gun shop who was selling their own reloads without a license to do so (allegedly). Then there is a third incident where Korean surplus ball ammo failed and cracked the heal of the M1s receiver.

Personally I believe there is nothing wrong with reloaded ammo if you load it yourself, or in some cases a proven, trusted source. However I will not shoot any reloads of unknown origin, shot shell or otherwise. The risk just isn't worth it in my opinion. :thumbdown:

Thanks for posting your story as it is a reminder how important it is to don "Eyes and Ears" when shooting. Take care.

#12 Gil Sanow

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 07:32 AM

In all the yers that I have been involved in shooting, tis is the first actual friend I have ever heard of being hurt. I sure am happy to hear all is well.

I am also reminded about those engineers at Springfield Armory who designed the bolt of your M190313 with the flared striker knob. The Mauser after which it was designed didn't have it, but the Americans added it, as they did on the Kragt. The whole idea, of course, was to deflect the hot gasses sideways rather than directly back into the eye of the shooter in case of a cartridge case failure. I guess they weren't so dumb afterall!

G

#13 Alonzo

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:33 AM

WOW...I am glad you were badly injured, let alone suffered eye damage.
When I first got interested in living history which involved live fire at targets ranging out to 500 yards. I had to find a set of glasses which were similar to military eye wear fitted with my prescription for corrective lenses. Luckily my brother is in the eyeglass business and had access to numerous eye wear frame catalogs. We found a CSA approved industrial safety glass frame whihc was very close to a military style frame.
He fitted my prescription in the the frame and they look awesome. Since my brother cuts lenses and assembles eye wear as a profession it was a simple task to find just the right style. The frames could also be fitted with tempered plain lenses, with no correction if a prescription is not needed.
I have since gotten out the living history pursuit.
This is a sobering experience and I am really glad it did not turn into something serious.
Cheers

#14 ClaptonIsGod

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:55 AM

WOW...I am glad you were badly injured


I hope you mean I am glad you WEREN'T badly injured.

#15 Misanthropic_Gods

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:00 AM

WOW...I am glad you were badly injured



I think he has it out for you mpguy...watch your back!

Edited by Misanthropic_Gods, 20 September 2009 - 09:00 AM.


#16 oldfireguy

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:13 AM

What ammo were you shooting?

#17 Linedoggie

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:05 PM

Glad it wasnt a grave injury, but if possible some more info on the markings of the Ammo casing in case anyone else comes across some would be appreciated if you remember.

#18 mpguy80/08

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:04 PM

What ammo were you shooting?


First, let me say thank you for the outpouring of support. I'm doing okay with no permanent damage. I'm still a little sore today from whatever hit me and punctured my cheek, but no bruising, just a bit of tenderness from all the hot powder burns on my nose and cheek.

I'm going to call and see if I can find out what ammo we were shooting. It was packaged like new ammo, and I'd even gone so far as to ask specifically what grain it was (150gr, what the 03 and garand were designed for). I just called the ammo owner and he stated he wasnt able to tell me right now what mfg it is, but said it is ammunition he picked up at the 1500 Gun show in Indy last year. He is going to give me a call tonight and let me know what manufacturer it is.

I'll keep you all posted here on what I find. Thank you again everyone for the best wishes and support.

Wayne

#19 mpguy80/08

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:20 PM

Hi guys,

This is a picture of the primer end of the casing that ruptured yesterday while firing a Springfield (Remington Mfg) Model 1903A3. As you can see the only markings on the casing are K above the primer, and 54 below it.

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  • Ruptured_Case_1.jpg


#20 mpguy80/08

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:21 PM

Picture #2... As you can see, the casing ruptured just above the Extractor groove, splitting the casing and pushing it out.

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  • Ruptured_Case_2.jpg


#21 mpguy80/08

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:24 PM

Picture #3... This is looking down from the projectile end of the casing... as you can see there was quite extensive damage to the base of the casing just above the extractor groove.

I hope this helps someone a little more knowledgable about ammunition and casings than I. Again, I'll get the info on this ammo tonight... tomorrow at the latest and post it here.

Wayne

Attached Images

  • Ruptured_case_3.jpg


#22 Darktrooper

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:46 PM

Is the Ammo out of that box that was fired marked K 54? Or was the box of Mismashed headstamps?

I've heard of this happening to reloads alot.

Im Glad you are ok Wayne!

#23 willysmb44

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:49 PM

I've seen ruptures from there before but nothing to cause the kind of damages you described.
I'm glad you're okay, that's the most important thing. It's easy for me to say this, but this could have happened no matter what. You can at least rest easy knowing that you didn't do anything stupid to cause this! :thumbsup:

#24 37thguy

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:04 PM

Hi Gang...

First of all let me tell you that I am okay. Thank god.

I was out with my reenacting unit today getting a little live fire in. One of our guys recently aquired an Underwood Carbine and a Remington M1903A3. Both weapons were cleaned, and inspected and found to be with no faults, lubricated, and reassembled. Five others fired the M1903A3 before I did, and had no problems. I was handed five rounds, which I had fed into the internal magazine and I closed the bolt. When I pulled the trigger, I thought I'd lost my face. The round in the chamber ruptured, flashing back and destroying the extractor, and the metal clip around the bolt. The shrapnel and gasses and unburned powder vented back almost directly into my face. Most of the force of the blast vented our at the extractor, however some vented straight back along the bolt channel and into my face and hand where I held the stock.

I stood there dazed for a moment, with the others asking if I was okay... I can hear myself on the video saying yes, but the next thing I felt was blood running down my face. I put a hand up and came away with blood. I went to my vehicle and got my first aid kit and worked at tending and assessing my wounds. I was lucky, I only had one small puncture, which caused all the bleeding. I dont know what hit me, but it punctured the skin but did not penetrate all the way through. Nothing got under the skin. The small puncture was about one inch under my right eye.

The others came over and were trying to remove the bolt from the weapon in order to unload the remaining rounds. After about twenty minutes they finally got the bolt open and the ruptured casing out of the chamber. The case ruptured right above the extractor groove, blowing out a small portion of the brass, which did not separate from the casing, but allowed the gasses to vent back. The excractor was bent, and looked like it may have been chipped. there is a kind of clip around the bolt... and this was pretty well mangled.

The Casing was marked with an K at the top, and 54 at the bottom. The rounds had been sold new, I think, but may have been reloads, I'm not sure, they werent my rounds, but they came in a red colored box with a name that started with a P, and the rounds were held in 2 red 10 round plastic racks inside the box. All the rounds that had been fired before me came from this same lot.

A couple of things I've learned today.

1. No matter how many people have fired a weapon before you safely, it CAN malfunction when you pull the trigger.

2. No amount of prep... disassembly, cleaning and lubrication can stop a weapon malfunction.

3. Seemingly brand new ammunition can, and will from time to time malfunction.

4. Not all ammunition packages as new ammo, is indeed new ammo. They very well may be reloads.

5. As safe as ammunition makers try to make their ammunition, there is always that one casing that slips through.

6. Most importantly, wear safety glasses. I wasnt, and I'll tell you, that lesson is not lost on me. I could very well have lost an eye today. As it is, I have a face full of minor flash burns. It might have been alot worse.

Hope this helps everyone to be extra careful, especially when you are firing ammunition you have no idea where it came from. I'll never shoot ammo someone else provides again. My face and nose are still tender from the incident.

Wayne






#6 :thumbsup:

#25 ww2_1943

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:11 PM

Just glad to hear you are OK. Otherwise who would I get my ration advice from :)
This is making me wonder if I should fire some 69 Lake City ammo I bought.


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